The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Councils Want to Oblige Cantons to Higher Premium Reductions

The Swiss Councils have agreed to a minimum amount of 3.5 to 7.5 percent of the costs of the obligatory basic health insurance for premium relief. This compromise was reached by the National Council on Tuesday, with 104 to 86 votes in favour and 2 abstentions. This means additional costs of around 356 million francs for the cantons. The left-wing parties and the Green Liberal Party argued that this was not enough, and that some cantons had not been using their full potential to reduce the shock of premiums for their population. The compromise of the Council of States was seen as the only feasible way, and the Mitte-Partei voted with the SVP and FDP instead of the left-wing parties. The initiative for premium relief, which demands that insured persons should not have to pay more than 10 percent of their available income for health insurance premiums, is likely to be put to a vote, despite the disappointment of the initiators. The federal and cantonal contributions for premium relief are prescribed by law, with the federal contribution currently at 7.5 percent of gross costs. A recent study by the Swiss Trade Union Confederation showed that most cantons did not use their full budget for premium relief in the past year, and that ten cantons had reduced their contributions for premium relief in the past ten years.nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

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